These are the best VPNs to use on PlayStation
Using a VPN with a PS4 is an excellent way to access extra content, bypass geo-restrictions, play foreign game servers, and browse the internet on your console in privacy. In some circumstances a VPN might improve your ping. And if your internet service provider (ISP) is subjecting you to bandwidth throttling, the VPN will speed up your connection.
Using a VPN with a PS4 is easy. There are two main methods you can use: a VPN router, or an ethernet connection to a PC running the VPN. In this guide, we will provide a walkthrough for using either method.
How to install a VPN on PS4 using a router (easiest way)
The fastest and easiest way to use a VPN with a PS4 console is to use a VPN router.
Connecting to a VPN server at the router level automatically protects all the devices in your home. This includes your PS4.
Not all routers are VPN compatible, so you will need to ensure that your router is suitable. If it is, but it does not have a VPN client, it might be possible to flash it yourself with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware.
If you don’t currently have a VPN compatible router, you can choose from our list of the 5 best VPN routers. In 2020, our favorite is the Vilfo because it is a low-cost VPN router that will work with a massive cross section of VPN providers.
Follow these steps to set up a PlayStation to work with your VPN router:
Sign up to one of the best PS4 VPN services.
We recommend ExpressVPN because it is fast and secure.
Access your router’s Admin panel in your browser.
Check your router’s documentation to find out what its local IP address is but most routers have a default address of 192.168.1.1.
Login to your router using your password.
If you have never updated the password, this will be the default password.
Find the VPN client in your router’s admin panel.
You will need to check where this is depending on your specific router.
Enter the VPN connection details.
You will need to get this information from your VPN provider. These details are your username, password, and the VPN server IP address you wish to connect to. To set up an OpenVPN connection, you will require a setup guide for your type of router from your VPN provider, so ask customer support.
Save these changes and close your router's admin panel.
Boot up your PS4.
On the main PS4 menu screen, click on Settings > Network Settings.
Click Set up Internet Connection > Use WiFi.
Select Easy as the connection method.
Select your WiFi network from the list and connect with the relevant login details.
Make sure the Do Not Use a Proxy Server box is ticked.
Confirm the settings and save.
Click on Test Connection to confirm everything works properly.
How to set up a VPN on PlayStation 4 using a computer (cheapest way)
If you do not already have a VPN-compatible router, and you do not wish to purchase one, then you will need to share your PS4’s internet connection with a computer that is running the VPN. This is by far the cheapest way to connect your PS4 to a VPN.
If you have a PC or a laptop and an ethernet cable; you should have everything you need to use this method! Some laptops do not have an ethernet port, but don’t worry, as there are USB to ethernet port adapters out there that should do the trick.
Follow these steps to set up a PlayStation to work with a VPN on your computer:
Sign up to a VPN service suitable for gaming on a PS4.
We recommend ExpressVPN because it is ideal for the job.
Download and install the VPN software on your PC.
Connect your PS4 to your PC with the ethernet cable.
Open the Control Panel on your PC and navigate to the Network and Sharing Center.
Click on Change Adaptor Settings in the left sidebar.
Right-click on your VPN connection (the one installed on your PC), click Properties > Sharing.
Tick the box that says: Allow other network users to connect through this computer's internet connection.
Locate the Home networking connection drop-down menu and select your ethernet connection.
Connect to the VPN server you require by using the VPN client on your PC.
Boot up your PS4.
On the main menu screen click on Settings > Network Settings.
Under Network Settings select Set up Internet Connection.
Select Use a LAN Cable when you are prompted.
Select Easy for the connection method and confirm Do Not Use a Proxy Server when asked.
Accept these settings and click Test Connection to ensure it works correctly.
Can I install a VPN on PS3?
No. As is the case with a PS4, you cannot install a VPN client onto a PS3. Instead, you must connect to the VPN on your router and then connect the PS3 to the internet via that router.
Alternatively, you can connect your PS3 to a computer that is running the VPN software using an ethernet cable. Connecting a PS3 to the internet using either of those methods is the same process as described above for a PS4. That means you can use this guide, interchangeably.
What are the advantages of using a VPN on PS4?
All internet-based activities can be tracked by your ISP and the government, and your PS4 is no exception. A VPN encrypts your data so that all your online activities are private.
For more information, check out our Beginner's Guide to VPNs.
Although this digital privacy is the primary aim of any VPN service, a VPN also allows you to conceal your IP address and pretend to be in a different country, which can allow you to do several things:
- Purchase cheaper games from abroad.
- Play on foreign game servers.
- Play games against people that speak a foreign language (or your native tongue).
- Access censored or restricted content blocked by the government.
- Bypass geo-restrictions to access content from overseas such as BBC iPlayer.
- Watch more content on Netflix.
- Unblock Hulu and other georestriced services.
Besides being able to spoof your IP address to a distant location, a VPN can allow you to bypass bandwidth restrictions imposed by your ISP.
In some locations around the world, ISPs will use bandwidth restrictions when their customers connect to gaming servers. This is to stop them eating up a lot of bandwidth. With a VPN, it becomes impossible for an ISP to track which websites and servers you are connecting to, so the ISP will not restrict your bandwidth. This can massively improve your speeds.
Some users even report being able to use a VPN to improve their ping rates. However, a VPN will introduce added latency for most people. This is because the VPN must encrypt your traffic and route it further via the VPN server.
For more information, check out our VPN speed test guide.
ISP peering contracts make it possible in very rare cases for a VPN to route your internet traffic better, which would reduce your ping, but this remains quite unlikely. It’s always worth testing, and if you want more information on using a VPN for gaming, please check out our full guide.
How to get a VPN for PS4
If you want to use a VPN with a PlayStation 4, it is worth bearing in mind that not every VPN is suitable. Many VPNs are slow and provide access to only a few servers. Those servers suffer from congestion and are not good for data intensive tasks such as gaming and streaming HD content.
Free VPNs exist, but that vast majority of the services you find on app stores for free are inferior services that provide outdated encryption and concerning privacy policies. If you want to try a free VPN, we urge you to stick to a recommended free VPN provider only. Those services are trustworthy and do not skimp on privacy.
To get the most out of a VPN for PS4, however, it is necessary to get a service that has lightning fast servers located in a good selection of places around the world. To help you out, we have provided a guide with the 5 best VPNs for PS4. Our guide will help you select a service that is suited to gaming by helping you find a service that has:
- A large choice of servers worldwide.
- Fast connections.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- No download limits.
- Strong encryption.
- Watertight privacy policies.
- Apps for all platforms.
- Router compatibility.
- Excellent customer support.
- Setup guides.